Andres “Andy” DeLeon, an HVAC specialist I, arrived at UNLV in August 2013 after serving 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. He was recently was selected as Rookie of the Year, part of the President’s Classified Employee of the Year Awards. The camaraderie that exists in his UNLV shop reminds him of the friendly working relationships he experienced in the military.
How You Came to UNLV
I was stationed at Nellis (Air Force Base) for 13 years, doing the same kind of work I do here. I started off as a field technician and then later was given an opportunity to run the 60-man shop there. When I was getting ready to retire, a friend suggested I try to get on at UNLV. Before UNLV called me, I was hired by a company downtown. I stayed there 10 days before accepting a job here on campus. The transition to UNLV was easy. In that other job I was out on a truck by myself. Here it’s just like it was at Nellis; I am part of a shop where we work together.
A Typical Day
I show up at 8:30, clock in, find out what is lined up for the day, and hit the ground running. We constantly stay busy. It’s primarily air conditioning projects in the summer and heating in the winter.
Couldn’t Do My Job Without
The support of my coworkers. It makes my job a lot easier when I have the support of my fellow HVAC technicians. I got the (Rookie of the Year) award, but really it is because of them helping me. It’s all teamwork. We all get along well. We can kid around and at the same time get the work done.
Advice for a New Employee
Give 100 percent. You don’t need to know everything. When you don’t know something, ask. People are willing to help you. Getting the mission done is the important thing.
HVAC Maintenance Tips for the Homeowner
The most important thing is to make sure you change the filter every three or four months. This saves the unit from freezing up and rupturing. Also, rinse off the coil on the outside unit, but only after you have turned off power to the unit! Wait for it to dry before you turn the power back on. Doing these two things can save you a lot of money.
Also, make sure your outdoor unit is not blocked by things like weeds or trash cans. You need to get the air flowing across the coil. Otherwise, the temperature and pressure on the unit will go up. If the unit cycles on and off too often due to air flow restriction, you may have to replace the compressor over time.
Your First Job
Working at a grocery store in San Antonio called HEB. I started as a bagger. A month later I was working in the produce department. I put out the vegetables and rotated them. I learned the importance of keeping your area clean and presentable for your customers and how important it is to rotate the fruit and vegetables. There’s nothing like going into a grocery store and seeing rotten fruit.
A Favorite Movie
I’ve always liked Tombstone with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. Cowboys and their way of living back in the day interest me. My wife and I go to the movies almost every Friday since it is one of my days off. I like Westerns, horror flicks, and action/adventure movies.
I love fishing and hunting. I fish on my boat at Lake Mead or I fish off the bank at the pond at Floyd Lamb (Park at Tule Springs). At Lake Mead I fish for striper. At the pond, it’s catfish in the summer, trout in the winter, and carp all year.
I love being outdoors. I really enjoyed hunting when I was stationed at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska, for four years. Moose is good, but black bear meat is better. The black bear meat is best if you hunt in the spring when the bear have eaten a lot of berries. That makes the meat sweet. My wife is not a game meat person, but she loved the black bear meat. We made steaks and sausage out of it.
What the Nominator Said
William Williamson, the compliance manager in facilities management, said, “Andy DeLeon is an animal! Since Andy started at UNLV…he has taken the HVAC shop and the campus by storm. He is a 21+-year career HVAC technician and has brought unprecedented knowledge, experience, and morale to the shop.
“Andy was assigned to the customer service team on April 1 and has definitely set the bar for how the team can and should operate. In the month of April, Andy responded to 93 service calls and closed every single one of them!
“I am honored to have Andy work in our department. He always has a positive attitude and is an absolutely invaluable source of expertise, motivation, and professionalism. When Andy shows up, he exudes confidence and puts customers at ease. On top of all that, he is an all-around great guy and is more than deserving of being UNLV Rookie of the Year.”